Pick of the Week (#13): Muscle Memory, by Steve Lowe
- Selection made by Rodney Carlstrom
The Book: Billy Gillespie wakes up one morning to discover that his junk is gone. In its place is his wife's junk. Billy is now Tina, and Tina is dead. That's because Billy's dead. His lifeless body is still in bed and empty beer bottles and a container of antifreeze litter the kitchen counter. Over the next 24 hours, Billy and an odd assortment of neighbors, all experiencing their own bouts of body switcheroo, try to figure out what happened and why. Can they do it before the Feds find Billy's body? Was it aliens that caused this, or God, or the government? And did Edgar Winter really sleep with his sheep? Pro football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw has those answers in a story that asks, What Would Kirk Cameron Do?
The Author: Steve Lowe is a former writer with the South Bend Tribune, and occasional stringer for the Associated Press. He also writes weird, dark, humorous fiction which contains just slightly more made-up content than his short stories. His first book, MUSCLE MEMORY, was published in 2010 by Eraserhead Press. His short fiction has appeared in the print anthologies AMAZING STORIES OF THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER, A HACKED-UP HOLIDAY MASSACRE, and DEAD BAIT, and several online venues including Three Crow Press and Unicorn Knife Fight.
The Publisher: Founded in 1999, Eraserhead Press is an independent publishing company with a focus on Bizarro Fiction, with an aim to bring you the weirdest most fun to read books you'll ever find. For more information about Bizarro Fiction visit: www.bizarrocentral.com
My Comments: In short fiction, it takes a lot to find the right words, or for that matter the proper way to convey a story. Limitations help to prove the authors abilities, and quite honestly, short fiction is the determining factor for me when it comes to a new author. If they can successfully pull of a short story, novella, or novelette and leave me wandering, or thinking hard after finishing it, then they get my stamp of approval. And more times than not, I end up going back that authors stuff, in every capacity available.
Steve Lowe is now one of those authors. From the get-go, reading the synopsis for the novella, it just sounded awesome. In a world where it seems tropes are the common thing; overdone and horribly at that, it's nice to see an author able to take an old favorite and breath new life into it. Steve does this brilliantly in Muscle Memory, with the Ol' Switcheroo. Think Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Freaky Friday; Like Father, Like Son, and Vice-Versa, and then take those and flip 'em on their heads. Throw in a dash of government conspiracy, aliens, male breast feeding,and a talking sheep, and you've got Muscle Memory.
When he's not pulling on your heartstrings, he's making you laugh your ass off. And he does a remarkable job of both with believable characters, and a populated town that took me back in time to my hometown; very recognizable people that just added a whole other layer of down-right hilarity to the mix.
So make Muscle Memory, by Steve Lowe(Eraserhead Press) the SSP Blog Pick of the Week!
Pick up Muscle Memory today! Direct softcover and Kindle links below: